I hadn’t been to a festival in two years and I was dying to go to this one because it was at a place I have never been to before and had bands that I really wanted to see. So, my buddy bought four tickets for me, my girlfriend, him and his ex-girlfriend and off we were. We left after work on the Thursday and were trying to get there for the Thursday night show of the Dark Star Orchestra who were doing a tribute show in honor of Jerry Garcia’s passing.
The Dark Star Orchestra are a unique cover band that not just cover Grateful Dead songs, but actually recreate the old Dead shows, song for song and note for note. It’s a real trip and we were dying to see that, but fate had a different agenda.
We arrived at the entrance gate at around 11pm and were so excited and energetic that we could have lit up a small city with our collective energy. The woman checking people in said to pull up and turn off the engine because it was going to be a while. Now, I have been to many festivals and this is common practice; there are too many people at once, so they slow the influx by making people wait and the process runs smoother. So, we cracked some beers and prepared for what was to come. Unfortunately, we had no idea how long we were going to be there for.
After around three and a half hours of sitting on our asses getting drunk, I decided to head over to the security guard and see what was up. When I finally found one, he was in a mood, I’m guessing from everyone asking the same question, and barked that the gates would open when they opened. They had over sold the festival and now were out of space for people to camp on.
So we slowly walked back to our car like Charlie Brown after he got in trouble, and decided to try to sleep. However, everyone around us was making good use of the time by partying their asses off. The group in front of us was so messed up and screaming their heads off, falling asleep became a real challenge; not to mention that there were four of us trying to sleep in a minivan that was packed with all of our crap. When sleep finally took hold and we were off, some idiot in the background decided to play his saxophone at the top decibels at 5:30am! I wanted to kill him, but to each their own, that’s what these festivals are about.
After only a couple hours of jazz backgrounded sleep, I awoke with a feeling of having to use the bathroom, so off I went. However, over night, the heavens had opened and drenched everything and now the air was filled with a constant mist. I walked over to the port-a-potty but the stench emanating from that disease trap was gut wrenching, so I trailed off into the woods.
When I returned to the car, there was a collective hum that we were going to be entering the festival and I couldn’t have been more excited to leave the parking lot and finally set up camp and sleep. I was done!